While trying to talk about who shined the most Friday night, Naperville Central coach Pete Kramer sounded like a kid who just unwrapped a bunch of great presents and was asked to name his favorite.
With leading scorer Rob Suntken at his side, Kramer talked about the hot shooting of the senior forward in the team's 69-32 bounce-back win at West Chicago. Then he raved about the great all-around game of guard Nicky Lopez and the 9 assists by Ryan Antony.
The Redhawks coach then sounded giddy describing his team's overall defense and Mike Blaszczyk's role with 4 steals and a blocked shot. Of course he also had to sing the praises after another big night from the big man in the middle as center Nick Czarnowski finished with 15 points and 7 rebounds.
"We had a tough loss on Tuesday and we were not real happy with the way we played," Kramer said after his team improved to 12-6 overall and 5-2 in the DVC in West Chicago. "We came out and had a mindset that we're going to play defense, and we were active. But I thought Nicky Lopez was just outstanding on offense and defense, and so was Rob."
All Suntken did was outscore the Wildcats single-handedly 16-13 through two quarters as the Redhawks wiped out an early 8-5 deficit to take a 40-13 lead at the half. When Suntken left the game for good late in the third quarter, Naperville Central was comfortably ahead at 58-20 and Suntken at that point was still outscoring the hosts.
"Once you get a few going you get in a rhythm and you keep riding the hot hand," said Suntken, who made five 3-point attempts on a night in which the Redhawks dropped in 10 shots from beyond the arc. "When you know you're on, you're on and you can't miss."
It was a tough night for the Wildcats, who after that early 8-5 lead were outscored 35-5 to close out the first half. Naperville Central's defense made it difficult for forward John Konchar to get his usual looks inside and he had to settle for 6 points all in the first half. Ryan Orr paced West Chicago with 8 points and Jimmy Rizzo scored all seven of his points in the third quarter, which closed with the visitors ahead 61-24.
"Taking nothing away from Naperville Central, our effort tonight wasn't what it needed to be," Wildcats coach Bill Recchia said. "When you play any team in this conference you need a better effort than we put forth, especially early on. We made it awfully easy for them to do what they wanted to do."